Staff from both the Commonwealth Healthcare Corp.’s Division of Public Health and the Commonwealth Health Center have completed training in epidemiology and data collection and were presented with certificates of completion on Tuesday.
The course that they completed will assist them in carrying out their core job functions. The course ran for two hours on workdays and started in May.
Participants received 40 hours of training in how to better collect data on disease rates in the CNMI using epidemiological principles. Epidemiology is the study of disease and its causes in a population, and is an essential function of a public health agency.
Staff who completed the course include: Lillian Bennett, Normita Cabalbag, Nancy D. Fernandez, Helen Harding, Gracia A. Laxina, Amber Lynn Mendiloa, Kaitlyn Neises-Mocanu, Wilbert Rospel, Leiana Saures, and Joey Songsong.
DPH currently has an epidemiology team headed by a recently hired epidemiologist from Australia. The course was designed to help staff become better at carrying out data collection and analysis in the CNMI as a means of developing stronger interventions to protect the health and wellbeing of all residents. Also included in the course are nurses and quality managers from the hospital who are learning how to use epidemiology and data collection methods to better care for hospital patients.
CHCC chief executive officer Esther Muna said that Brian P. Mangum, an assistant professor of Fiji National University, taught the month-long course and was paid for by the Pacific Island’s Health Officers Association.
“This is one of the benefits of being a PIHOA and I am a secretary and treasurer for PIHOA’s board and we make resolutions twice a year and one of the things that jurisdiction expresses their concerns and one of them of course is quality care, and Mangum was picked by PIHOA to teach the course and he has been here before,” Muna said.
Mangum said that it is an exciting opportunity for staff from both public health and the hospital to learn more about how epidemiology and the collection of quality data can help them better serve the.
“The staff at CHCC are dedicated to serving the CNMI, and their participation in this course demonstrates that commitment,” Mangum said.
Margarita T. Aldan, director of the DPH Services, said that the opportunity for public health and hospital staff to participate in this training will help them to understand and recognize that clinical and public health services have to work together to ensure improved population health from ensuring collection of quality data to developing actions/interventions.
Mendiola, CHC staff, said that she took the course twice already and wanted to take it again to better understand the subject. She said she enjoyed Mangum’s past teaching skills and is dedicated to improving quality care in the hospital.
She said she enjoyed the interaction not just of staff from DPH but other departments under CHCC who attended the course.
This is the second continuing professional development course taught to CHCC staff, with the first having been delivered in 2013 on the topic of the Ten Essential Public Health Functions.
The seven-week course is a joint effort of CHCC, DPH, Fiji National University, PIHOA, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.